All About Japan

5 Fantastic Websites for Fall Foliage

| Information , Autumn Colors

Koyo, or autumn foliage, lasts about three months in Japan. It starts in the mountains of Hokkaido around mid-September, then slowly cascades down to Hakone in early November before finally disappearing in Kyushu just before December. These five sites will make sure you don’t miss a beat as this incredible season sweeps through the country!

5. Japan-Guide

If you’re at a loss on where to start your autumn leaf hunting, Japan-Guide offers some excellent advice to help you navigate the koyo scene. Not only does the website provide you with recommended spots, but it also identifies which tree species will lose their luscious bright green in exchange for a coat of brilliant red and gold. If you’re unsure of when the leaves will turn in your region, check out the map of Japan, which is color coordinated to indicate when the season starts.

4. Koyo Walkerplus

Koyo Walkerplus offers much more than the standard recommended koyo spots and tracking the degree of color change in the leaves. Search by “light up” to witness the magical illumination of the autumn leaves at night, or “festivals” to experience the wonder of Japanese festivals while being surrounded by red and golden foliage. Partial to yellow more than red for autumn viewing? Sort by leaf color—either red or yellow—to get your preference! While the website is entirely in Japanese, with the help of Google Translate you can get the gist of the site track down your top koyo spot.

3. Yokoso Japan

Want to go see koyo up in the mountains, but don’t have time to plan it? The Yokoso Japan site has you covered by organizing tours around dates when the leaves show off their dazzling colors. With over 30 packaged tours for one, two or even three days starting from as low as ¥6,300, you can find the tour that’s right for you. Some of the tours have an English-speaking guide, but for those that don’t offer one, the tourguide conductor will provide you with an English itinerary and brochures so you won’t be at a loss.

2. Kouyou.Yahoo.co.jp

With over 700 spots compiled into one website—making it the most frequented site for koyo in Japan—Yahoo’s Kouyou website might just have the most expansive listing of spots where you can view the leaves changing to their autumn colors. Like most other koyo websites it lets you search by region, parking availability and the nearest onsen, but unlike other sites, it lists 24 day trip courses that meld together popular sightseeing spots like Kiyomizu temple with koyo. For those who can’t make heads nor tails of the Japanese website, you can still admire the brilliant photos that capture the innate beauty of the leaves in the 20 picture gallery.

1. Japan Autumn Foliage Update

Simplistic in format, the Japan Autumn Foliage Update provides real-time koyo tracking—in English!—from the time when the leaves start to change color to when all the leaves have fallen each year. By using data from the previous year, the Japan Autumn Foliage Update can even predict what areas in Japan will be best for viewing the autumn leaves this season.